Slack thought that letting any user send you direct messages was a good idea, hours later it has limited the function
The business communication software Slack launched on Wednesday a function by which any user of the application could send direct messages to another, regardless of whether they did not belong to the same company: Slack Connect. And just a few hours later has had to limit this tool to the barrage of criticism it has received for the lack of security measures to protect people who use it from possible cases of digital harassment.
In the Connect home page, Slack says that it is a function designed to increase productivity, since it allows direct contact between a company’s employees and its external suppliers. But many of the users who have started to try it have noticed important shortcomings: there is no option to block private chats, and no button to directly report abusive messages to Slack or company administrators, as they affirm multiple people on Twitter and informs Vice.
In addition, Slack Connect allows you to send a personalized message to the user with whom you want to open a private chat that does not have any type of abusive language control, as reported The Wall Street Journal, so they could contain messages from sexual harassment to threats or insults.
Another complaint is that Slack Connect not only notifies in the tool’s interface that a new request to connect through a private chat has been received, it also sends an email to the associated email account every time this happens, and according to several users. it’s downright difficult to disable those notifications.
“It took our security and IT team about four hours to disable direct messages from Slack Connect,” says Mitchell Hashimoto, founder of a software development company, and Twitter.
Lastly, Slack Connect has an option for company administrators to turn the feature on or off. In the event that they choose to disable it, no employee of the organization will be able to use this tool, but, despite this, You will continue to receive notifications in your email if any external user sends you a notification to contact. And even if you can’t establish stable contact, this means that anyone can send an abusive comment to workers using Slack using the custom message in the request to connect.
In the face of all these complaints, Slack first recommended to people who had problems disabling the new feature, a somewhat questionable solution because it does not allow users who want to continue using it to defend themselves effectively against specific cases of abuse or harassment. In addition, it was later verified that communications continued to reach the email inbox even if the tool was disabled.
Later, in a communication from a Slack spokesperson picked up by Vice, the company advised any user who received inappropriate messages to contact your help desk to investigate the case and take action on it.
And finally the company you have decided to limit some of the features of Slack Connect, starting with the option to send personalized messages to connect, as reported by journalist David Pierce on your Twitter account.